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Joaquín RODRIGO (1901-1999)
Concierto pastoral for flute and orchestra (1978)
Dos miniatures andaluzas for string orchestra (1929)
Adagio para instrumentos de viento (1966)
Fantasía para un Gentilhombre (1978) arranged for flute by James Galway
Joanna G’froerer (flute)
Asturias Symphony Orchestra/Maximiano Valdés
Recorded at the Auditorio Principe Felipe, Asturias, June 2002
Complete Orchestral Works Volume 8
NAXOS 8.557801 [62.36]

This is another attractive entrant in the evolving series of the complete orchestral works of Rodrigo – we’re up to volume eight. There is one early work – the Dos miniatures andaluzas for string orchestra written when he was twenty-eight – and later ones of which the most esteemed I suppose, the Fantasía para un Gentilhombre, appears in the guise of its James Galway arrangement for flute. The performances here are subtle and persuasive and in flautist Joanna G’froerer we have a gifted soloist.

The 1978 Concierto pastoral is a three-movement twenty-six minute piece of some substance. It opens with a moto perpetuo then relaxes into wistful haze, with relaxed orchestration and some bluff solo brass calls all the while populated by the antic flute writing. The flute in fact frequently plays pirouetting Puck to the unwieldy and outsize brass Calibans – to mix ones dramatis personae for a moment. The slow movement is full of hazy melismas, with one moment of martial strength to pierce it; the orchestration here is very spare and precise with again some solo space for the brass which, by the time of the finale, sound comprehensively drunk as Rodrigo mocks and gulls them. The flute meanwhile takes off in rustic ebullience – and the word for the scoring here, as elsewhere, is deft.

In the first of the Andalusian miniatures we can hear some warm, maybe mystic-religious writing whereas the second is populated by guitar imitation. The Adagio for Wind Instruments of 1966 has some rather beautiful lyricism and warmth along with scurrying drama later on. The Fantasía para un Gentilhombre doesn’t seem to lose much in this transcription from the guitar original. Suffused in baroque idioms and delicious elegance it’s a winner however one plays it with the scherzo-type vitesse and buoyant drive of the finale being especially attractive in this performance.

Fine sound and notes and playing and another warm recommendation for volume eight.

Jonathan Woolf



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